Contracts

Contracts and agreements drive business and individuals in a variety of ways. Agreements with third-party vendors and contactors, service and purchase agreements, real estate transactions, business contracts, family loan agreements and promissory notes, and even marital agreements.  We create, review, negotiate and amend agreements advocating for your interests and ensuring your rights are protected and you understand your obligations.

Disputes can arise for many reasons, with one being a breach of contract claim.  If businesses and plans ran perfectly, parties would always adhere to the terms of contracts that they enter into with other parties. However, in the real world, it is not uncommon for people to breach the agreements and contracts they make.  In some cases, parties breach contracts without intending to do so, while in other situations parties intentionally decide not to fulfill the terms of a contract.

At Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC, we can handle many different types of contract matters, including but not limited to:

  • Employment contracts
  • Noncompete Agreements
  • Independent Contractor Agreements
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Family loan agreements
  • Postnuptial and prenuptial marital agreements

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Contracts Services

Employee/Contractor Agreements

Whether you are an employer, an independent contractor, an employee, a consultant, or a general contractor, if is critical to outline the terms of any agreement and define each parties’ role with another to prevent potentially dire consequences. 

Some common employment/contract agreements include

  • Employment contracts
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Consulting agreements

Whether you are an employer seeking to protect the business that you built or an employee who wishes to protect his/her livelihood and ability to work, we can review and draft appropriate and tailored employee contracts, confidentiality agreements and non-compete agreements.

If you are looking for a contractor or are a contractor, we can assist you in properly defining the position and role as well as the expectations and obligations to prevent possible dire consequences. 

Family Related Contracts

A formal agreement among family members or friends can often save a relationship.  Agreements make it possible to help each other and at the same time establish boundaries so relationships are not put in jeopardy by miscommunication, misunderstanding, and mistake.  All too often do we enter into emotionally loaded situations with nothing more than a promise and a handshake between us.  This leaves everyone vulnerable.  Consider instances where you have heard horror stories from others about family quarrels and broken friendships.  It does not take long for a simple misunderstanding to explode into a irreparable fight.

Some common agreements among family members and friends include:

  • Prenuptial Agreements or Marital Agreements
  • Loan Agreements
  • Co-habitation Agreements
  • Residential Leases

Let us assist you in thinking about potential problems and the ground rules to help avoid problems down the road.

Service and Business Contracts

If you own a business, it is a good rule of thumb to have an agreement for every relationship, whether that be a client, contractor, or vendor.  While it may seem cumbersome and a waste of time or money, at some point you will be in disagreement with someone and the terms of your agreement will save you and your business.

A service agreement is particularly important if you are selling a service because completed services are harder to prove than the existence of a product.  When someone purchases a product, there is a physical item to show.  However, it may be more difficult to prove a service that one cannot visually see.  Additionally, if you are the recipient of a service, it will be important to have the agreement reviewed to ensure the terms and remedies are fair and reasonable.  Questions such as, What happens if the customer is unhappy with the service? Or What happens if I need to enforce the agreement? Is there a provision for attorney’s fees or perhaps an arbitration clause? Is there a warranty provided and are there any exclusions?

Additionally, if you are needing or providing goods, a vendor contract will establish the business relationship and details each party’s obligations and expectations under the contract as well as the remedies in the event of a breach.

Your time is very valuable and you work hard for your money.  It is faster and cheaper to use service agreements than it is sorting out disagreements and disputes without an agreement.  It will prevent surprises and reduce potential misunderstandings.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the importance of choosing the right lawyer. We invite you to explore the breadth and depth of our capabilities.

A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract often between two intimate, unmarried individuals, who reside or intend on residing together.  These agreements function similarly to a prenuptial agreement and a lease in many ways.  They set forth how money, property and debt are handled during and potentially after a relationship. They also can outline the expectations and responsibilities of each party during relationship.

 

There are several reasons to have a cohabitation agreement.  Some of the primary purposes are

  • To confirm two individuals have no intent to become common law married;
  • To identify and outline the expectations and obligations of each household member to prevent misunderstanding and confirm responsibilities
  • To identify rights that often are associated with marriage (such as the rights to property acquired during the relationship or the disposition of property in the event of a break-up)

There are several things to consider before pursuing someone for money or services you believe you are owed.  First, it is essential to determine if your rights to the funds or services you are seeking.  Is there a clear agreement, is it in writing, is there a document trail showing refusal to pay?  To show your case in the best possible light, it is typically best to try other methods of debt collection before pursuing the matter in court.  For example, be sure to ask for the money - preferably in writing - so there is a record of your attempts.  Ask them multiple times for an exact dollar amount.  You can also consider a professional collection agency.  If these methods do not work, it would be time to consult an attorney to help you navigate the legal system.

Non-compete clauses may first rub you wrong.  They can be offensive and can potentially negatively impact your future liklihood.  However, if drafted fairly, both you and your potential employer can benefit.  For example, the employer may wish for an agreement that the employee not solicit former or existing customers or that the employee not establish a similar business within a specified geographical location.  Certainly, as long as these terms are fair and defined appropriately, it is reasonable for the employee to agree. 

There are instances where a non-compete agreement may be overreaching and voidable.  If an agreement is determined void for such things as being too restrictive, the employer can be harmed.  On the other hand, if a non-compete agreement is very restrictive, but still within reason, the employee may be forced out of working in their area of expertise where they live. 

An employer cannot require you to sign a non-compete agreement, but they may choose to terminate your employment or refuse to hire you.  But, often times, these non-compete agreements are negotiable and you can keep your employment while the company protects its interest.

Prenuptial agreements (often shortened to "prenup") are not only for the weathly.  Prenups are generally useful for most couples.  A prenup is a written contract created by a couple who intend on marrying and wish to deviate from law with regard to dissolution of marriage proceedings and probate matters. 

Typically, most think of prenups as being for the weathy.  This is not always the case.  They can be used to assist couples to protect their future and to know and control how property is going to be managed.

The agreement may outline the rights and obligations of each person during their relationship and in the event of death or divorce.  It can really contain whatever a couple so wishes.  For example, a prenup may impact an award of spousal maintenance or alimony (depending on some factors), it may dictate how assets or debts accumulated during the marriage or distributed upon divorce, it may be used to award a business or pet to one or the parties or it may be used to remove rights married couples have under the probate code.  

There are many things that can go into a prenup and there are many pitfalls if not drafted properly.  Let one of our experienced attorneys assist you in planning your future.

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